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Photo: New York Sports Club

In the wake of yesterday’s government shutdown, Town Sports International (TSI) has just announced all laid-off government employees can work out for free at New York, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia Sports Clubs.

All the 800,000 furloughed workers have to do is flash their government ID at one of TSI’s 161 facilities to get free access to all equipment and group fitness classes. The offer lasts until the shutdown is over (so potentially forever — or whenever Congress gets its act together), and government employees can show up for as many freebies as they want, anytime except Monday through Thursday, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. (peak hours for the club’s official members).

Obviously the offer is a way to pique non-members’ interest in the Sports Clubs and get them excited about exercising there. But TSI is also marketing the promotion as a way to help government workers beat the stress of not having a job (at least temporarily). It’s also a great opportunity for TSI to brand itself as a company that really cares about the health of its members and non-members alike.

TSI has made similar efforts to help their local communities in the past. Most recently, they opened their doors to all non-Sports Club members during the heat wave that hit the northeast in July 2013. At this point, there seem to be few downsides to taking advantage of the offer. After all, those looking to keep posted on the situation in Washington can always watch the news from the treadmill instead of the couch.

Got something to say? Let us know in the comments below or tweet the author at @ShanaDLebowitz.